Here’s what I know about cats and coaching: cats are coaches in furry disguise. They encourage us to change without even trying. They are quiet listeners (unless they have the 2am zoomies), they have the deepest eyes that make you talk to them thereby processing your junk and they support us without being overbearing or invasive in any way. Often if I’m feeling something intense I notice that within minutes there are 4 cats somewhere in the room. Not right on me usually but nearby and very attentive and that silent presence is often all I need to get through whatever it is at that moment. When I used to have 4 dogs it was the same although usually at least one was close enough to put a paw on my knee. Interestingly enough when I’m offering a distance Reiki session they are right close by soaking up that energy, too. Have you noticed that sometimes all you need to change or get through a tough time is a witness and pure acceptance. Cats make awesome coaches because cats know stuff, right?!
I suspect you likely are similar, although perhaps without the furry part, if you are reading anything on this website at all as I tend to yammer on about all things Cat and personal growth / self-care stuff. Healers are both born and made and are tempered by fires that would leave weaker souls burned to ash. Rescuers and advocates for both people and animals, also are healers whether they know it or not. Many times they feel the pain of others in very intense physical and emotional ways that have convinced me without doubt that the concept of “empath” as a noun is very real. When I see someone get hurt whether it’s real or not I feel a literal and very real lurch in my abdomen that sometimes hurts and sometimes just feels squirmy and strange. Seeing images or God forbid, videos on Facebook of atrocities used to leave me stumbling for hours if not days. I’ve learned to manage those energies better these days so while still an impact it’s often brief and processed quickly. Here’s some great advice for sensitive people from Marie Forleo.
I’ve been a therapist in the past but left that field only to find it followed me everywhere. A lot of helper types gravitate toward each other and I think help in passing more than we know. Not wanting to do “therapy” anymore but not being able to let go of helping conversations and coaching almost automatically made me commit to a patch. I decided to focus on coaching those who help others to help themselves when I began really noticing how many were burning out and leaving their precious work behind in order to survive.
As I’m getting the word out to those who don’t know me personally I’ve wondered how best to cyber-meet people. I was a speaker at the BlogPaws 2015 conference which was a great experience and made me more committed to learning new ways to connect. I’m comfortable now offering Desire Map workshops and coaching by teleconference, GoToMeeting or Skype so now am exploring more options like Periscope and YouTube for video that can be viewed later. I’ve offered a series here on self-care for advocates and should have the book on that subject ready to go by December 2015.
I find myself these days with a burning desire to help the helpers as strong as I feel toward helping animals. I’ve also noticed an increase in articles for self-care and burnout prevention reaching beyond people like social workers, crime victim advocates and medical professionals where they make you listen to information on vicarious trauma every year. This gives me hope that the subject of taking care of yourself will move beyond passing comments to daily practices.
Have you noticed your pets coaching you? Is self-care a topic more on your mind lately? Comment below and let us know what you think but before you do take 3 deep breaths and drink some water!